Dear Sports Direct- an open letter about bad customer service

Dear Sports Direct,

Over the past weeks you have managed to cause a huge amount of stress and frustration to me, but most of all you have disappointed a little girl who has not received her 7th birthday presents.

I stumbled upon you through an online ad; knowing you had a store near us I had no qualms about ordering from you. On Friday the 28th of March evening I put together a sizable order amounting to just under £200. Included were a special raincoat- a Moshi Monster raincoat for my daughter, a birthday present-, a Moshi Monster beanie for my daughter and older son- rewards for recent achievements-, numerous trousers and thermals for our impending trip to great outdoors of Northumberland- Grandparents had asked what the children wanted for their birthdays and Easter. I said I’d order it for them.
My raincoat has seen better days, so there was one for me in my order too.

Ordering was easy enough- though some items were not available, some were pre-order. One pre-order item- a pair of sunglasses- was due only in June! I decided that I’d probably find a pair by then and deleted that from my basket.

Oddly I received no order confirmation on placing my order, just a thank you for registering with Sports Direct.

Still not having heard back on Tuesday, 1st of April I called your customer services, Sports Direct. I was informed that as I had a pre-order item on the order and my whole order will be delayed till that was available. I asked to cancel that item and asked to ensure that the items got to me as soon as possible as it had a presents in them for my children, most importantly my daughter turning 7. I was left with the impression that there would be no problem for the order to arrive by the weekend. Though the lady did make an off the cuff comment: “you did order free delivery, instead of next day delivery.” … well of course I did, as I ordered over a week before I needed the items. I expected my order to arrive by the 4th of April.

Instead of arriving on the 4th of April I got a order dispatched email on the 4th of April.

Alarm bells started ringing! Do the courier do a Saturday delivery? Surely it won’t be Monday delivery! But we’re supposed to be in Liverpool on Sunday evening meeting with family over from the Netherland!

I reached out to Sports Direct via Twitter and we took the conversation to email. When I explained my situation and about birthday presents being in the package-

Hi Monika,

Thank you for your email.

Sorry to hear this. Please provide your order number.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Kind regards,


I responded with order number at 15:23 on the 4th and never heard back that day or over the weekend.

We changed our plans, family were invited to stay with us instead of us all going somewhere special together. We would celebrate the birthday at home. (I did not have the time or the funds to go out locally to buy present and outdoor wear we needed for our holiday).

On Monday, the 7th of April I emailed again. Finally a reply:

Hi Monika,

Thank you for your email.

I’m very sorry to hear this. I can confirm that your order is showing as out for delivery today:

[tracking details]

Sorry for the disappointment caused by this matter.

Kind regards,


In the meantime some tweets from your contracted delivery service- Yodel Online


I spent the 7th stressing about the delivery, jumping to every rattle of the door from the wind.

I spent it not celebrating with family, celebrating my daughter.

I was reassured it would come that day from both the sender and the deliverer. I didn’t rush out to get a little replacement present, just in case people’s reassurance meant nothing. Besides, what if I missed the delivery man? I’d already spent the money (and more) too.

Both my daughter and I went to bed in tears. My daugther’s were silent tears that she swallowed as her wobbly voice said, after we explained her present hadn’t arrived: “It’s OK mummy! You can get me something on holiday.”  No it’s not ok!  A birthday is a birthday, to be celebrated on the day, especially for a 7 year old!!!

On the 8th of April we held off leaving home till as long as we could. In the hope that the package would arrive. It didn’t!

I was told that they attempted to deliver at 3:10pm on the 8th of April.

As a result further frustration- we had to buy some outdoor gear, we got caught in traffic jams and missed the Bat Walk which we were very much looking forward to.

I gave both you, Sports Direct and Yodel an opportunity to make it right: get the package to us at our campsite.  I contacted customer service both on the phone and via email.  I was told you only redirect within 10 miles, but you will try your best.

Then Sports Direct, you decided to cancel our order instead.

I guess you really don’t need customers with £200 orders wanting delivery within 5 days of ordering

What I resent in the whole process is the lies, the lack of concern for customers, no one actually followed through. I don’t feel like anyone from your company or that of your delivery service listened, heard my plea for help, to get me this delivery on time. All correspondence, phone conversations (the ones I made to the call centre) felt full of empty, meaningless apologies. A copy and paste response. Does this Laurie actually exist?  I tried to actually call her, but they couldn’t put me through to anyone of such name.

One of my twitter followers put it very well:

It is no surprise people are choosing companies like Amazon, who delivery free often within a day or small independents who listen to their customers.

Oh and by the way, where is my refund???

Yours upsettedly,



PS- Sports Direct if you are considering how to react to this I have a suggestion: A proper, meaningful apology to my daughter for not delivering her birthday present, a bunch of nice flowers and a birthday cake will do.  

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  1. Great post Monika! I sure will never order with them. Their offices are in the Netherlands in Muiden. I’d give the head office a call if I were you.


    • Mumonthebrink says:

      I’ve emailed them as high up as I could, asked them to ensure they are doing what they can. Seems they really don’t care about customers. 🙁

  2. I call that shop the Vile Emporium of Doom, and this has just confirmed that Sport’s Direct are a dreadful company.

    I believe that Jayne from Mums the Word had an issue with them last year, as well.
    Steph (@imcountingufoz) recently posted…Three Ingredient Mackerel PâtéMy Profile

    • Mumonthebrink says:

      I do like that name!

      For sure their shops are a true reflection of that name- over-filled, messy, badly staffed. Now I know their online business is as bad.

  3. Jayne says:

    Wow, that’s terrible, though no great surprise unfortunately. Sports Direct are an awful company and I won’t go anywhere near either their stores OR their website anymore.
    Jayne recently posted…Nurturing Their DreamsMy Profile

    • Mumonthebrink says:

      From feedback through twitter and FB, it seems they are in podium position for bad customer treatment awards.

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